Fishing LBI Waters – Surf & Boat Fishing Report Update

Strong showing of summertime pan fish in the waters of LBI!

Fishing LBI is great! A recent wave of snapper blues arrived and tormenting the schools of spearing. Southern kingfish are and have been on the chew. We’ve also seen an uptick in weakfish and finally a couple blowfish. On top of that, fluke fishing reports are great!. Bluefish, tog, triggers and sheepshead are in the inlet too.

Local grom Grey Colston is stopping in daily load up on live boodworms and DynaBait freeze dried bloods. Grey reports lots of kings in the surf. “The past couple of days have been great on both live and freeze dried bloods! Some days we have fish on almost every cast. There’s lots of kingfish and snapper blues on the beach. Fish the low tide and walk out on the bar. You gotta reach out to them!” While Grey is fishing the Ship Bottom surf other kingfish and snapper surf reports have came in. Other areas mid-island as well as Beach Haven on the south end are producing. We can only assume they are up on the north end too. But no direct reports. Only talk about blues and fluke from the northern beaches.

Dynabait Freeze Dried Bloodworms

Busy traffic is something we all learn to deal with on LBI during the summer time. Whether on the beach, on the water or on the street traffic is part of daily life. Most of the time traffic on the water makes a bite tough. However the bay and Inlet fluke fishing around LBI has been solid with numerous reports of 4-6 pound fluke as well as a couple 9’s 10’s and a 12!!! With the abundance of bait (specifically spearing, peanut bunker and small snappers) we remind those who switch over to strictly artificial to rethink their game. Big fluke love bait and especially large baits! Whole squid and large mackerel strips are two classic big fish bait as well as peanut bunker, snappers and live spot.

Kyle Brewer was recently on the water drifting and dreaming around the Inlet, Dike and main thoroughfares. He reported good fishing and mentioned, “We got a bunch of shorts and some keepers. Saw a guy land a monster!” Josh Rice sent in this photo seen (below). Josh caught the 12 pound doormat bucktailing Barnegat Bay. Land based anglers fishing the rocks are picking some good fish.

 

Here’s Josh Rice with a 12 pound Barnegat Bay doormat!

 

AJ and the crew at Apex Anglers recently released this dusky shark off the surf.

 

It’s Shark Week and there’s no better way to enjoy the time then shark fishing. Sharking the surf and the bay is lots of fun and the bite is on! Sand tigers and brown sharks are consistently making their presence known however other species are around. AJ at Apex Anglers recently released a dusky. Our local bunker man said small black tips are here and there some threshers still around. Speaking of sharks… the ultimate sportfishing shark species, the mako gave a local boat a surprise. As reported on our last fishing report post (July 22nd) the crew aboard the Jenny Lee got a monster mako. Here’s a must read article on the catch from the Fisherman Magazine www.thefisherman.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=feature.display&feature_ID=1800&ParentCat=19
(L to R) Here’s Austin, Paul and Cody with a recent sand tiger release.

 – Bluewater Fishing News – 

Captain Jeff Warford aboard the Reel Innovations stopped in for a case of premium select Baitmaster’s Ballyhoo. While here he reported the tuna fishing is good. We are mugging them on the troll and the chunk is heating up. Other good report came in from Research and Bluerunner Sportfishing. Here’s their spreads!
Recent crew aboard the Bluerunner. Nice haul!
Bill Tallman’s recent catch aboard the Research.
With the Beach Haven White Marlin Invitational this week lips are tight. Not many willing to share locations.

 

Captain Bernie Hyland aboard the Mad Ludwig sent in the report… Brittany Hyland landed her first bluefin tuna aboard the Mad Ludwig on Saturday. We were fishing at Lemkes Canyon. The 36″ 22.9 pound bluefin nailed a good old Green Machine trolled behind a bird rig way back at the end of the pattern.

 

 – Fishing LBI Tournament News –

  • Wednesday is Day 1 of the 48th Annual the Beach Haven Marlin Tuna Invitational. Best of luck to all the boats fishing and a huge thanks to all of the boats that geared up with top quality bait and tackle at Fish Head.
  • JCAA Fluke Tournament – On August 5th, 2017, the Jersey Coast Anglers Association will hold its 23rd Annual Fluke Tournament.
  • The Forked River Tuna Club Presents their 60th Annual Fluke Tournament.

Weekend LBI Fishing Report – July 22, 2017

The warm temperatures and free time of the summer months provide great opportunities for families to get outdoors and spend valuable time together on the water. In an effort to motivate parents and guardians to engage in fun fishing activities with their children and keep them away from drugs, the Partnership for a Drug-Free NJ is holding the 3rd Annual Don’t Get Hooked on Drugs Online NJ Family Fishing Tournament. This year it is from August 4-13th. For more info to participate check out their website www.drugfreenj.org/

The Ship Bottom surf temp today is 68 degrees. The warm waters are a comfy home to fluke and kingfish. They are in the suds. Both today (Saturday) and yesterday (Friday) customers purchasing live bloodworms gave the nod yes when asked if they are finding kings. The big blues that are around offer lots of fun too! The epicenter is the Inlet but some feisty yellow eyes are cruising the surf. Gary W. caught this 13 lbs. bluefish off of the Beach Haven surf a couple days ago. Gary got it on fresh Fish Head’s fresh bunker.

Gary W. caught this bluefish off of the surf on bunker.

Beach sharking continues to dominate the surf report.  Both brown sharks and sand tigers give anglers a run for their money and test their tackle. Long Beach Island’s summertime beach shark fishing is the ultimate land based big game fishing experience. It’s a ton of fun but please know these species are federally protected! Due to the restrictions both brown sharks and sand tigers have made a major come back. Know the rules! Both of these shark species (among some others) are prohibited to be possessed. They can not be killed! They can not be landed! It’s grey but simply put landing equals possession even if there is intent to release. Fish must remain in the water. That means do not drag them up the beach for a photo. Dry sand photos are a major no no. This will ruin it for everyone.

Sharking is prime time right now, through July and all of August. This fishing is best during low light and dark hours, making it a great way to spend a few hours at night. Store staffer Willie D shares this report, “Sharking off the beach is hot right now. Keys to success? Rig up right. No weak links. Bait up with mackerel, bunker or anything meaty with some stink. Be ready for a good bite and a solid fight. Stop in the shop if you need assistance getting geared up!”

I personally prefer to enjoy the summertime sharking via boat. Over the years (15+) I’ve had a blast with friend enjoying the summer nights on the bay this way. Now that I’m a licensed captain I’m running 1-3 man bay sharking charters. If interested in going, call the shop 609-494-5739 and ask for me, Greg. If not available leave your name and phone number.

Earlier in the week I was out a couple times and we had toothy ones both trips. One trip we had a consistent bite that lasted couple hours, right into slack low tide. Everyone got their turn to battle a brown or two. At one point we had a double header. We blew through hook baits, rigs and the super warm bay ate the chum quick. The next night a stiff southerly wind maked for poor wind against tide conditions. We battled through the challenge, managed to release one and missed a couple opportunities. More recently store alumni Joni was out with friend. They released three brownies.

Shop alumni Kenny U reported good tog fishing at the Inlet rocks. He mentioned the tiggers are plentiful too! For a number of weeks now, the area has big blues holding. Anglers are having a blast hooking them on lures from bucktails to poppers. The inlet also offers great fluke fishing as the flounder slide out of the bay and take on the near shore lumps and reefs.

Bluefish offer lots of fun for all age groups but especially for kids.

Fluke fishing is solid! Anglers bucktailing the bay’s channel edges are still catching and some occasional nice fish at that. As the season progresses other areas are heating up! New reports from the inlets and ocean are strong. The consistent warm ocean temps mean one thing for late July fluke fishing… it’s on!

Howard Clark was out on the water yesterday. His caught five fish 21-23″ and dropped an even bigger fluke boatside. Howard reported quality size fluke were on the chew and everyone was stacked with squid. It’s a great sign!

The Carolyn Ann III recently reported, “Nice improvement with an upswing in the fishing. We are seeing a good catch of sea bass along with keeper fluke coming over the rail! Hopefully this upward trend continues!!! Here’s a report from Jacob Bowles who was recently fishing aboard the CA3. “We got out to the fluke grounds,had a good drift and started off picking. Got an 18″ and worked through some sea robins. Landed a 23″ 4 pound fluke which took the pool.” When asked Jacob said he was catching fish on both Gulp and bait, “Both keepers were on bait.” Sometimes you have to give them some meat!

Jacob Bowles with his pool winning 23″ 4 pound fluke.

We tend to get 90% of our reports from anglers fishing Barnegat Bay and the north end of the Island however recently some positive reports came from the southend waters. Store staffer Willie said, “Fluke fishing on the south end of the Island is pretty good. Been a better mix of keeper size fish for anglers fishing the Gulp 4” Shrimp. Those have been the go to baits for some sharpies.

Sometimes you hear about the epic fishing and just have to pack up and go. Montauk is well known for quality striped bass and fluke fishing. The reports out of Montauk have been stellar to say the least! Zach Michot took a road trip to the East End and it was well worth it! Zach reported, “Jigged up 13 nice fluke and five jumbo sea bass. All on MagicTail Jigs. It was a great day on the water aboard the Miss Montauk.”

Clamming and crabbing are a great way to enjoy LBI’s beauty and beat the heat. Here’s a photo of Archie Coen clamming away.

Achie Coen is enjoying LBI’s salt life clamming Barnegat Bay.

For a large group of passionate anglers, bluewater fishing is a release from the summertime land life full off hustle, bustle, traffic and noise. Those hours on the high seas are where some of life’s best memories are made. Today the crew from Jenny Lee Sportfishing weighed in a monster mako at Hoffman’s Marina. It’s possibly a pending new state record, unofficial weight at 926 pounds.

Bluewater fishing has been strong! Stop in for premium Baitmaster Ballyhoo, super popular Joe Shute Lures and top quality spreader bars! We have all the essentials and more to get you geared up and into the bite. The mid-shore and offshore action continues. Anglers fishing 30-50 miles  off are into bluefin tuna on a routine basis. Some heavy weeds recently moved into a fishy area that was very productive. This makes for frustrating fishing but you never know what’s underneath. Most of the time these weedy areas have bait as well as mahi and whites. Some cobia were pulled.

Store staffer Willie Davis has a nice bluefin tuna he caught trolling the mid-shore tuna grounds

Lots of local boats are catching on the mid-shore grounds trolling bars as well as bally/shutes. It seems the larger class of bluefin that were around the past month or two might have push up out of out area. It seems a smaller class of fish are now present. Hopefully some nicer ones keep picking. Spreaderbars have been hot for these smaller class bluefin. Joe Shue trolling lures rigged up with a large or select ballyhoo is also a deadly trolling combo that tuna can not resist. Most run them on the long rigger, but some prefer them in the shotgun, way back. On the other hand there’s boats that stack the spread and run them in both positions. It seems like the bigger fish like to fall for the stealth way.

While we just got a skunk report sent in from an angler who fished the Hudson we also got an awesome report out of the same Canyon. Since it is a very large area they must have been fishing different sections. We were not told where in the Hud but we saw some solid photos of yellowfin tuna from the area.

Our current bait situation… We have fresh bunker, salted clam, live bloods, live eels and live minnow. We are low on green crab but expected on Monday. Baitmaster ballyhoo is in stock with all of the sizes from dink/peewee, small, medium, med/large, select and horse. We also have spanish mackerel, premium swordfish squid (5pk) and professionally pre-rigged ballyhoo.

Fishing Transitions into Summer

As the spring season winds down and we transition into summer new fishing opportunities arise… Read On!

Crabbing has been on fire all spring and it continues! We are looking forward to an awesome summer of crabbing. Here’s a photo of Richie Southwick with one of many nice blue claw crab hauls. Richie is doing great with the feisty blue crabs.

This is the last push for Black Sea Bass! The NJ Black Sea Bass Fishing Season closes Sunday June 18th. It will reopen on July 1st with a bag limit of two fish at 12.5″

The Carolyn Ann III reports, “The last two days of fishing were pretty good. Still a lot of shorts to weed through but the keepers are there! This Sunday is the last day for us to go Sea Bassing as the season closes. Starting Monday we will be targeting everyone’s favorite flat fish, the summer flounder aka fluke. Come aboard!”

Austin Pounds shared this yesterday,”Fluke are in the wash! Toss out a 1/2oz bucktail topped with a Gulp white swim mullet and they are all over it.” Austin has been targeting and catching fluke off the surf all season. He has some really nice sized fish to show too. This surf based fishery traditionally is great all summer long. Just a heads up there’s a possibility that we’ll get some upwelling. Depending on how drastic the temp swing is with the event, it could effect things. A quick cold snap in the water temperature due to upwelling shocks fish and can lock jaw a bite like a flip of the switch.

Another report came from Austin on the beach shark fishing. “And so it begins! They are here so gear up and soak some whole bunker. We got our season’s first sand tiger off the surf yesterday.”

Another surf sharking report came from ApexAnglers… “The 2017 NJ surf shark season begins with a bang! Two personal bests. Dan’s largest sand tiger to date measuring 8’2″. Seconds after Dan’s fish a 6’2″ sandbar shark takes the 9/0 with an eel. Then towards the end of the night a massive  7’7″ sand bar shark. The largest we’ve seen and possibly the largest caught off the surf in NJ. What a super successful early season trip. The action will only heat up from here.” Check out Apex Anglers for more details on NJ’s premier land based shark fishing guide service.

Sharking inshore/offshore has been good. We’ve heard reports of a couple large makos. Numerous customers reporting blue sharks out the wazzoo making for frustration but action non the less. In the past week we got some positive news on threshers 3-6 miles off the beach.

Like always, Joe Shute Lures are pulling tuna! These lures are about as consistent as they come. Don’t leave the dock without ’em! Store staffer Dan DiPasquale got offshore recently and has this report to share… “Our first offshore trip of the year resulted in our first bigeye. The good water we were after unfortunately pushed off making it all very difficult. Fished three different canyons with a water temp of 59-60 degrees. Took a couple hours but we finally got the right bite. It went for red headed Joe Shute. Nice way to kick off the year on the boat, still very early. There is a very good bluefin bite and yellowfin bite to the south of us right now, hopefully we get another good push of water soon!”

The striped bass bite off northern NJ as been very good this week. Lots of anglers out of the northern ports reported an awesome bite. Many local anglers headed up that way to get in on the action and had a blast. Both Waterman Charters and Shore Catch Guide Service has been dialed in on the bite. Here’s one report from Captain Gene from Shore Catch, “Last night was one for the record books! Epic cast and blast on topwater poppers. Kept one for the table and released over 20 all over 40 pounds.” Now that’s some great fishing. Below is Captain Gene boat side releasing a quality striped bass that fell for a pencil popper.


Pete Utschig wanted to share this post. The photo below is a beautiful striped bass that Pete caught one morning earlier this month. He had three nice bass that morning.

Moments like this, shared with friends, family, and even strangers is what makes it all worth while! It’s been a tough spring up and down the east coast. Besides some very spotty big fish bites the bass have been almost non existent. We need to WAKE UP!!! No more excuses or pointing fingers. We need to educate our friends and neighbors to stop killing breeder bass. We need to protect our precious resource and pastime. Until regulations change we can’t stop the endless charter boat slaughter, but if you have friends going on a fishing trips take five minutes to tell them about your love of fishing. Explain why instead of fishing in their local bay or inlet they have to steam 3 miles out to find the only body of fish we have left. Try and convince them to keep one fish per group not five fifty pound fish. We all love fishing for different reasons. I love it for the smile on a kids face when you hand him your pole on the beach and let him reel in his first fish. I love the 4am excited call from a buddy that you helped teach how to fish after he gets in on his first reel big fish bite. I love meeting guys just like me who just want to travel, laugh, (drink a couple cold ones) and catch fish. I just love fishing for the fun of it! Let’s protect our resource before we lose it forever!

With a sad and heavy heart I share the news on the recent passing of John Sweet. I had the pleasure of knowing the kind, generous man who did so much for others. He’ll be greatly missed in our community. Here is John’s obituary from Maxwell Funeral Home.

John F. “Tiderunner” Sweet, 78, of Ship Bottom, NJ passed away June 14, 2017 at his home. Born in Camden, NJ, son of Helen and John Sweet.  He moved to Cherry Hill and married Lois Zuzga Sweet who passed away too soon.  Together they had three children, Susan Lucas, Amy Smalfus, and Jane Faiola. He is survived by 9 grandchildren: Zachary and Melissa Johnson, Alexander, Nicholas and Gabriella Faiola and Rachael and Amanda Smalfus and Alexander and Victoria Duffy. He is survived by his loving wife, Joan Duffy Sweet, of 31 years, and her children, Christopher and Kathryn, who have been a great blessing to him.

He lived Medford, NJ with Joan for 18 years just prior to Ship Bottom where he resided for the last 14 years. His passion for fishing was well know, and he served as President and Treasurer of the Long Beach Island Fishing Club.  John initiated a fishing program for the LBIFC for wives, children and significant others called the Powder Puff Derby.   He was an active member of the LBIFC for over thirty years and served in many other capacities: teaching fishing at the Surf City Library, teaching casting and fishing at the Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs and participated in numerous fishing tournaments throughout his life.  He has many “winning plaques” because of his knowledge of the surf and the correct fishing gears to use.  He leaves a huge emptiness in the countless lives he has touched.  He was an active member of the Ship Bottom Fire House, and served as a Fire Police.  John volunteered at Southern Ocean County Medical Center for 8 years where he helped out in the Same Day Surgery Department.  In addition, he was an active member of the Kiwanis and participate in their many events.  John was active in St. Francis of Assisi Church serving as a Eucharist Minister as well as assisting the Secular Franciscans in their activities.  John was loved and respected by all and he deeply changed many lives for the better.  He always wanted to be remembered “as doing his best for everyone.”

A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Francis Church, 4700 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach Twp., NJ 08008 on Thursday, June 22, 2017, 11AM.  Relatives and friends may greet the family from 10AM to 11AM in the church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Francis Food Panty at the same address as the Church.